COLUMN: Jake's takes: Going from golf course to rodeos

May 27—Over the course of four days a future golf star potentially shined through from Muskogee.

Mesa Falleur, a native of Muskogee and a player on the University of Missouri-Kansas City squad. During the All-Pro tour Real Okie Championship, Falleur nearly won the event as an amateur in a field full of professionals. Despite being one of the young bucks in the tournament, he finished the event in second place only to Chad Sewell.

Over the course of the four days, Sewell had a firm grip on the lead and never looked back despite a few hiccups. Late in the third round, Falleur took a one-stroke lead and despite losing it just a couple of holes later, he proved that he could compete with players that are just a step away from the PGA.

Falleur playing well shouldn't be a surprise since he won the course championship back in August before his season with the Kangaroos started. That win earned him a free spot in the APT Event. His amateur status prevented Falleur from taking home a nearly $10,000 purse for second place.

Looking at his performance, onlookers didn't blame the fact he knew the course well on his strong performance. Hit fairways, flushed drives and sunk birdies gave way to his second-place performance. During the final day, Falleur was matched up with Sewell to finish the day. After the third day, Sewell was ready to play with a group that was going to have a huge following. The Conroe, Texas native clearly used that big crowd to nab a $20,000 purse as he wrapped up the event 18 under par.

Even though Falleur wasn't able to finish the storybook ending he still showed the talent that Muskogee has to offer.

Falleur was just one of four players from the area to compete in the event. Along with Falleur, Muskogee native and Northeastern State sophomore golfer Carter Stewart competed in the event for the third time in his career. While he didn't match Fuller's debate performance, Stewart was pleased that he has improved every year he competed in the event. According to the sophomore, the goal for next season is to make the cut for the first time, as an 18-year-old Stewart has plenty of time to work his way up the leaderboard next season. After the event, he expressed how he took away a lot from this tournament. Watching professionals shape their shots has given the sophomore a goal for the summer.

Tahlequah also had a pair of golfers in Bake Berry and Jake Johnson also tried their hand at the event. Even though they weren't able to make the cut, the pair put up a strong showing amongst tour players.

After being surrounded by golf polos and baseball hats for two days, I was surrounded by a different type of collared shirt and hat at the Claremore Rodeo. On Saturday, May 25 I went back to my roots and watched some cowboys and cowgirls tear it up at Will Rogers Arena. While it might not seem like it, I spent a lot of time at rodeos in my younger days.

After watching bucking broncs, Roman trick-style riding, steer roping and more one aspect of the event stood out to me the most; the rodeo clown. During the event, 10-time Clown of the Year Just Rumford entertained and stunned the crowd as he jumped over a ramp over two volunteers to roaring cheers.

This stood out to me for a lot of reasons. I was always tickled by the rodeo clowns, but more importantly, I wanted to be one. This went as far as me dressing up as a rodeo clown one Halloween. Naturally, people thought I was a normal clown, so I spent my Halloween correcting people throw my gritted baby teeth that I was in fact a rodeo clown.

After talking to Rumford I fleetingly wondered if I should've followed in his footsteps.

"I get paid a lot of money to just hang out and do dumb stuff. I have a master's in business and this is a lot more fun and I make more money. I get to come out here and be stupid, it's awesome," Rumford said.

Even though I haven't been to many rodeos over the past 10 years, I saw what I've been missing. Despite it not being the most popular sporting event it is one of the most exciting. As the public address announcer said, 'This was the X-Games before the X-Games."

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